Sometimes workers are fired unfairly. Whistleblower protection is designed to keep employers from punishing employees for reporting safety hazards and violations. Contact Murphy, Falcon & Murphy if you have been wrongfully punished for reporting railroad company violations.
The Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) was created to help protect railroad workers from unfair treatment. Whistleblower protection falls under FRSA guidelines.
FRSA outlines certain actions for which you cannot be punished. Some of the actions protected under FRSA include:
If the worker refuses to work but is given another option to complete the work in a safer way, he or she cannot receive whistleblower protection. A worker is not protected if a reasonable third party determines that the situation is not dangerous or if the worker does not report the dangerous situation or his or her intent to stop working.
If the court determines that your punishment was given because you performed one of the protected activities, the railroad company is violating FRSA guidelines. Some of the actions that would violate whistleblower protection are:
If your action is safeguarded under whistleblower protection and your company takes any one of the aforementioned actions, it is in violation of FRSA and you are eligible to file a FELA claim.
If your FRSA rights have been compromised, you can be compensated. You can receive reinstatement of the same seniority and benefits that you had prior to the punishment, payment of backpay with interest, special damages, attorney’s fees, and possible punitive damages if a judge determines the employer’s actions were egregious.
Seek medical treatment if you were injured. Keep your medical bills and records and ask for everything in writing. Keep any contracts or signed documents and take notes on any important interactions you have with the company. File a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as soon as possible.
If you or a coworker has been wrongfully punished after completing any of the activities protected under FRSA, you may be eligible to file a FELA whistleblower lawsuit. Contact the attorneys at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy if you need help determining your eligibility to file a claim or want experienced representation for your case.